Many families have a desire to be a single income family with one parent working outside of the home, and the other staying home to care for the children. With the current health crisis in our country, many families have become single-income families whether they wanted to or not, since schools and daycares around the country have been closed. That’s okay though, whether you are an aspiring single income family or you have been pushed into it, here are some tips and tricks for making the most of a single income.
Tips and Tricks for Becoming a Single Income Family
Budget Your Expenses
Without keeping a budget you have no way of knowing exactly how much money you need, where it is all going, or where you can make some cuts. Keep track of all of the money that is coming in, and detail how much you are spending each week on groceries, bills, entertainment, eating out, etc. For you to get the most out of it, it is going to have to be detailed. Don’t forget to include insurance premiums and property taxes (if you have them) to your budget.
After tracking all of your expenses for a month or two you are ready to see where you can make some cuts. Do you eat out for lunch? Consider a lunch from home. Do you have a premium cable subscription? Consider dropping it down, or cutting cable off completely. There are plenty of budget-friendly TV options now.
Meal Planning and Coupons
Planning your meals for a week or a month at a time can save you time and money. You don’t have to go to the store as often and you can take advantage of savings by buying in bulk. Before planning your meals make sure that you make detailed lists of what you have on hand in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. This can prevent you from buying things that you don’t need, and encourage using things that may have been forgotten in the fridge like produce. Take note of anything that might be on sale at the local stores and see if you can incorporate those items into your meal plans.
Take advantage of any coupons that your local store might offer, you can usually load these to your customer card before leaving the house. You can also find coupons in the Sunday paper, and on apps for your phone like Ibotta, which can help you save some additional money on items that you were going to purchase anyway.
Consider Becoming a Single Vehicle Family
Now that only one member of the family is working outside of the home, consider whether or not you can get by with one family vehicle. Only having one car means only one insurance payment (for vehicles) and only having to maintain a single-vehicle. Can the person who is working utilize public transportation, ride-sharing, or carpooling? Those options may be considerably less expensive than insurance payments and upkeep on multiple vehicles. This might not work for all families. If you live in an area without public transportation or have children with lots of appointments and lessons this might not work for you.
Think Outside the Box
When it comes to income, especially for single income families it can be helpful to think outside of the box when it comes to additional income. Selling unneeded or wanted items can bring in a little extra income. Consider bartering services with someone else like child care or lawn care when it is needed. The family member who stays at home may also consider trying a side hustle like blogging, website design, or virtual assisting. Those are all skills that can be provided virtually without having to leave your home that can generate some additional income for your family.
Making the transition to a single income family can take a little time, but it can be done if you and your family are determined to make it work. You will likely have to make some changes, but in the end, more time that you can spend together as a family is more than worth it. Use the tips and tricks here to help you make the transition.
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Do you have a favorite tip or trick for staying on budget as a single income family?
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